834.01/7: Telegram

The Minister in Paraguay (Howard) to the Secretary of State

28. My 27, February 25, noon. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Provisional Government Dr. Juan Stefanich has today made the following statement to the press (text furnished by the United Press representative):

“The pronouncements of the governments of foreign nations with respect to official recognition of the new situation is momentarily awaited. As is known the revolution has decreed the dismissal of the diplomatic and consular personnel accredited by the overthrown regime and in consequence the Provisional Government lacks foreign representation at the moment. No negotiation to that end can be anticipated through Paraguayan representatives abroad.”

After detailed reference to the special audience mentioned in my 25 February 21, 11 a.m., and to desire to grant time for resident Diplomatic Corps to furnish full reports to their governments, the statement continues:

“In view of the declarations of the Provisional President on the occasion of the great popular demonstration of support of his Government setting forth the fundamental principles that would govern his Government’s action, and believing that the governments of the friendly powers are now perfectly informed by their representatives, the Paraguayan Ministry for foreign Affairs initiated the first conversations with the members of the Diplomatic Corps who came to the Foreign Office relative to the opening of official relations with the foreign governments, and is awaiting the instructions they may receive from their governments. This Ministry does not consider that reasons exist that make it advisable to send special missions abroad to negotiate the reestablishment of Paraguay’s official relations with the friendly powers since it confides fully in the good will of all the governments with respect to the Provisional Government of Colonel Franco.

“The Minister for Foreign Affairs confirms that the Provisional Government views with the best disposition the initiative of President Roosevelt with respect to the holding of an American peace conference11 and it will be pleased to give its reply as soon as it is invited by the Government of the United States.”

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In a special statement to the United Press Dr. Stefanich further said:

“The Provisional Government is interested in accelerating as much as possible the execution of the agreements relative to the repatriation of the prisoners of war. To this end it gave orders to the future members of the Military Committee on Repatriation, Colonel Irrazabal, Lieutenant Colonel Recalde and Major Sosa Valdez to proceed without delay to Buenos Aires so that when official relations with the foreign governments are reestablished they may immediately initiate the negotiations that will consummate the return of the prisoners to their respective countries.”

Repeated to Buenos Aires.

  1. For correspondence concerning the Inter-American Peace Conference, see pp. 3 ff.